The Polish Competition Authority (UOKiK) announced on Wednesday that it had fined Russian group Gazprom by 29 billion zlotys ($7.61 billion) for building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline without UOKiK approval, Reuters reports.
UOKiK also imposed a fine of 234 million zlotys ($60 million) on the other five companies involved in financing this $11 billion project.
“The launch of Nord Stream 2 will threaten the continuation of natural gas supplies to Poland. An increase in the price of the product is also very likely, and this increase will be borne by Polish consumers,” said UOKiK president, Tomasz Chrostny. “The completion of this investment project increases the economic dependence on Russian natural gas, not only in the case of Poland but also in other European states,” Chrostny added, according to Agerpres.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a $11 billion investment, half funded by Gazprom and half by five European companies (OMV, Wintershall Dea, Engie, Uniper and Shell). Nord Stream 2 will double Nord Stream 1’s transport capacity to 110 billion cubic meters per year, so that more Russian natural gas will reach Germany directly via the Baltic Sea without passing through Ukraine.
Poland says Nord Stream 2 is a threat to Europe’s energy security, warning that the project will further strengthen Gazprom’s dominant position in Europe’s gas market. The United States has also imposed sanctions on companies that set up pipelines for the project.
UOKiK has been analyzing the Nord Stream 2 project for several years. In August, the Authority fined Gazprom 213 million zlotys ( 57 million) for lack of co-operation in the Nord Stream 2 project.